Monthly Archives: September 2012

Japan Day 11

Typhoon day! Typhoon 17, or as they say outside of Japan, Typhoon Jelawat, arrives today. I’ve dealt with typhoons in the past and they’re a mess. The one today is expected to bring several inches of rain per hour with 80mph winds with a foot of rain expected in Tokyo. I usually just do what most Japanese people do, which is hole up and watch the TV coverage of the approach and arrival. It’s not that you can’t go out, but the stores close, the trains (and planes) stop, and 80mph winds aren’t anything to sneeze at. So far, I’ve heard reports of a guy drowning while fishing, a tree falling on an … Continue reading

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Japan Day 10

The wind died down today but the air was still fairly clear. In the morning I was able to see something that isn’t that obvious in the picture but really stuck out in real life. On the right side of the buildings in the middle of the picture is Mount Fuji! I even started up a video chat with my sister to show her the view. Today I decided to go on a walk though the park close to Shinjuku: Yoyogi Park and Meiji Jingu. Instead I found some of the closest things to hell I could think of. I started out the walk in Harajuku. I remember listening to … Continue reading

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Japan Day 9

I am feeling better but did not get to sleep very well last night. My cough went away until I tried to go to sleep and my cough came back so I tried to sleep sitting up on the couch for a while. Fortunately the cough went away soon enough. And the wind didn’t help much. Just before my alarm went off, I had a dream that I locked the door on my mom as a joke and I could hear her outside. It was actually the sound of the wind whistling in the vents. The wind didn’t let up all day and I figured I might as well through … Continue reading

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Japan Day 8

I got up fairly early today, still with the cough but feeling much, much better. I went downstairs to do my laundry and what I found out was that after THREE-AND-A-HALF FRIGGING HOURS the magic washer/dryer still hadn’t finished. I started at 7:30 and at 11AM my shirts were still damp. Now I know better than to wait for it to finish. I still figured I’m on the mend and it was windy as so I thought I’d go to see the Sky Tree, or, at the very least, Solamachi (sky city). Solamachi is a giant mall at the base of the Sky Tree and it’s popular as hell. It’s … Continue reading

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Japan Day 7

I’m still not the picture of health and woke up coughing a lot. I knew I shouldn’t overdo things like I did earlier this week at least until I feel better. But it was my weekly cleaning day in my hotel room so I knew I had to be out from 10 to 2 at a minimum. I puttered around my room until it was close to 10, calling home and basically trying to figure out where to go today without coughing up a lung. I decided go somewhere odd, Kokubunji. Kokubunji is listed in my my guide book as “A Journey to History and Nature,” but surprisingly is also … Continue reading

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Japan Day 6

I thought I was getting better and I slept pretty darn well last night, but I knew something just felt off. It was the first time this trip that I slept in until my alarm. I got up and sent some messages to my sister and I just went back to sleep. When I finally made it down for the “continental breakfast”, I tried to talk to one of the other guests and found out that I didn’t have a voice. That came back pretty quickly, but I knew I should take it easy, again, and I was coughing up lots of phlegm for the fun of it as well. … Continue reading

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Japan Day 5

I’m not sure if I’m overdoing it, but I still don’t feel 100% and I stayed out over 8 hours wandering around Tokyo. It was a great day when I left but the air here is probably not as good as it is in Oregon. On top of all the industrial effluent in the air, Oregon has a nice ocean to clean the air before we get it. Japan has the deserts of China. I’m not quite sure of the weather here either. Portland takes a while to heat up or cool down and there’s none of that here. The weather meant it sounded like a good day to head … Continue reading

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Japan Day 4

The weather was miserable today and even though I spent a lot of time and money getting myself to Japan, I figured I might just hole up again and stay inside. But really, where would the fun be if I did that? I could have gone to an underground shopping arcade, but on a rainy Sunday that just means a hot, humid, packed-with-damp-people experience that I didn’t want to deal with. But I did wake up early so I puttered around on my computer, did some laundry, and tried to debug my mom’s computer remotely. None of it went very well. After sitting in front of the only free washing … Continue reading

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Japan Day 3

After my 20 hours of sleep, I felt a lot better. I wasn’t sure I was up to heading out but I felt OK after breakfast so I went outside. I was surprised at how cold it was and had to come back and put on long pants. My first stop today was a controversial one, but not too far from where I’m staying. I went to Yasukuni Shrine, which “was established to commemorate and honor the achievement of those who dedicated their precious lives for their country,” which can be seen as a commemoration of Japan’s participation in World War II, or warfare in general. The nearer portions of … Continue reading

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Japan Day 2

One of the reasons I wanted to stay in a furnished apartment rather than a hotel is because I figured that would let me sit on my fat ass all day if I felt like it. I like sitting around sometimes. I suppose that makes me ridiculously boring but vacation is vacation. I got to try it out today because I woke up with a head cold and decided to take it easy. Then I fell asleep. Then I decided to sleep in all day, 10AM to 6AM. I made it downstairs for breakfast but I did nothing else all day besides playing the MacHeist puzzle before passing out. So … Continue reading

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Japan Day 1

I had a couple of things on my list for Day 1. I wanted to buy the things I forgot (like toothpaste), buy an electric travel toothbrush that took batteries, buy a data SIM for my iPhone that’s ¥3480/month instead of ¥1500/day, look for my mom’s stuff (a magnifying glass and a pencil sharpener), and look for a couple of locations that my sister told me to check out. I know it’s too early to hit the hay at 4PM JST (midnight at home) so I had a very expensive cup of coffee (¥510 or about $6.50 USD) so I could rally and find some dinner. For that cup of … Continue reading

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Japan Day 0

What a long day. I got on the plane around 1:30PM PDT and got off after midnight PDT. Then I got to navigate the airport, then the train, and then make it to my hotel which is a lot nicer than I thought it would be but is in an odd part of Korea town. I did spend the afternoon and evening sitting on my ass watching movies, Battleship, The Avengers, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Tower Heist so it was more like a vacation than I’ve had lately. Here are some pictures of my room: With useless closets: But a fairly nice mini-kitchen: And a real bathroom, not … Continue reading

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